Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I have a headache...yuck!

Yes I do! I can't stand to feel unwell. I am usually very healthy and don't have any complaints, but I woke up this morning with a headache and I even know why, I have a sinus infection and we are expecting rain on Thursday and so it makes my head ache! But that doesn't really help anything because it still hurts and there isn't really anything to make it feel better. So I just suffer because I have too much fluid in my face!

The little girls and I walked the big girls to school this morning, we left right on time so we didn't have to run/walk, instead we could just stroll and take our time and talk. I love to do this, because then I can spend just that much more time with my girls. We walked them past the school and then turned and went home in a round about way, I believe it was approximately 2 miles total. It is not that far to the school, just 10 minutes, but that is why I add to it by making the distance longer and getting a little more exercise.

When we came back home I put a pork roast in the crock pot. It is a really easy recipe with a can of whole berry cranberries, some orange juice, a little honey and seasonings. I will serve it over some wild rice with baby carrots. Ummm I am getting hungry already and I have 7 ours until I get to eat it! I'd better get to a project and take my mind off of food. I am finishing up some hand sewing that I will use to decorate the little girls room. I am making flower petals and leaves and they will be applied to the walls. This is a re-creation of the room Madyson had in our old house. It was my favorite. The walls are a light green and the flowers look like they are growing up the walls. I have also painted grass growing along the base of the walls. Also there will be lady bugs flying around the flowers and up on the walls, they leave a little trail which spells out things like "dream", "believe" and "love". And then there are also flowers that look like they are holding a ribbon with the little girls names hanging from them. It is really sweet and pretty and I will post pictures as I finish each project. I also have to hang a ladybug valance and reupholster the glider with this really cute ladybug fabric. I am hoping to finish up this week.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mondays are for catching up

I always start my Mondays trying to finish what I started on the weekend. Not too bad this weekend, just a little picking up and staightening around the house, a couple more loads of laundry, and still have to transfer the warmer clothes into the girls drawers.

Yesterday was gorgeous! Sunny and warm. After church we came home for a quick lunch and then headed to the Louisburg Apple Cider Fest at the Apple Cider Mill. It was the perfect day for it! My friend Wendy posted the idea on her Facebook page and so everyone we knew seemed to be there!
After that we were driving home and decided to stop at the Overland Park Arboretum (or something like that!) Any how, it is this great big botanical gardens and has lots of walking trails and a lake and flowers galore. We walked around for about an hour and then came to a Butterfly Garden. I thought I saw a hummingbird so we sat down in the grass for about 20 minutes trying to be quiet and patiently waiting for it to come back...and it did! In fact there were two of them. And I never knew how much noise they actually make. They do this little chirping thing to each other, really cute. We would have watched them longer except Ava got so excited when she saw them that she kept squealing and scaring them away!
We came home and the kids played outside for a while, again it was so nice I just kept letting them stay outside to enjoy the good weather. As much as I love the fall and the winter, I don't look forward to having the kids cooped up inside a lot! I made Spaghetti and Meat Sauce for dinner with garlic bread and a salad. After dinner the girls got in their PJ's and we watched the beginning of The Amazing Race. We decided to root for the guys that are roommates and one of them has Asberger Syndrome. They are funny and sweet and we all hope they win.
When the girls went to bed it was still pretty warm, especially upstairs. So I left all of the windows open in their rooms and mine. When I went to bed at about midnight I shut one window in each girls room because it was feeling a little chilly. But my room was still warm and the breeze coming in the window felt so good! Ava woke up at about 4am crying, so I went into her room to check on her, and her feet were icy cold! I closed her window and then went around closing all of the other girls windows and making sure they were covered up so they wouldn't be cold. But my room still felt perfect with both windows open! The upstairs is really big and my room is at the end of a very ong hallway, I guess the air doesn't circulate up there too well.
Well I've got to get those drawers done!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A crisp Saturday morning

Well I have just come in from my front porch to sit down at my computer for a few minutes. We got up pretty early this morning, don't you know the girls always want to sleep in during the week but on the weekend they get up at the crack of dawn!

I made French Toast with cinnamon and after breakfast Katy and Mackenzie wanted to play in the front yard with Ava and Angie so they got them dressed and took them out there. I decided to go sit on the front porch to keep an eye on them. I brought out a cup of coffee and some hand sewing I am doing (something that I will be using for decorating the little girls bedroom, I'll show you more about that on a later post.) It is just a little crisp this morning. I was not wearing a jacket, but I sat in the sun and that kept me pretty warm. The girls all had jackets on. Katy handed everyone an umbrella and they proceeded to walk around the cul-de-sac singing songs from their new show "Oliver". It is cute, I just hope the neighbors enjoy it as much as I do.

I love our front porch, I always wanted one so I could sit out there and drink a cup of coffee or read a book. It stretches across the front of the house and is about six feet deep. It is held up by four stacked stone pillars that are detailed in Craftsmen style like our home. (It might also be referred to as Mission or Prairie Style.) I did not build this home like I did my other one, this one was a spec home, meaning the builder had built it with a lot of extras hoping to make a lot of money on it. It sat empty for a year and then I bought it, so I am the first owner. It has a lot of wood flooring, and the fireplace and surrounding shelving are all carved wood with leaves and other intricate designs. There is only 1 other house in my subdivision that looks like mine, but it is on another street and the porch is smaller. I am really lucky to have it the way it is. I just wish it extended to the side of the house, I think that would really be sweet. I have 2 chairs on one corner that rock and one long bench on the other side of the door in front of the dining room window. I need to make cushions for the bench, but I think I will wait until next spring.

I just dashed upstairs to put in another load of laundry. The girls are straightening their rooms and then I am going to help them take out the rest of their summer clothes. It is time to get rid of the shorts and no-sleeve shirts and make room for more pants and long sleeve shirts. This means a lot of sorting and making sure that things are clean before I store them away. Nothing worse than pulling something out in the Spring and finding it had food or dirt on it and now it is moldy or we have to throw it out! I learned that the hard way!

I also want to clean out my van. It is really filthy! Yuk! Mostly it has a lot of crushed cereal on the floor and in the seats because I give all of the girls their snacks in the car on the way to dance and theater and whatever else we have going on. I like to put a little cheerios, cheezits, mini marshmallows, pretzels and M&M's, etc. in a little snack baggie and hand them out. I hate to buy pre-packaged stuff like chips. In fact I also make cookies and brownies and fill snack baggies with them and put them in the freezer so we have all of our snacks ready for the week.

Well I'd better go check on the girls and see if they've made any progress. I can hear them arguing about who is doing more and complaining that Madyson is not helping...so what else is new. Wait til I go up there and remind them that they need to clean the bathrooms also! Oh they'll be so pleased!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Playing Indoors

Today was a really rainy day. Katy, Mackenzie and Madyson still walked to school, it hadn't started raining yet, but soon after they arrived it really started to come down. I called my Mom at about 8:30 am which is when I usually call her, every morning! We talked for about 30 minutes and then I had to hang up because the lightening was getting so bad. I don't know if it is really true that you should not talk on the phone during lightening and thunder storms, but I didn't want to take a chance.

Angie and Ava Marie and I sat on the little couch and watched the storm, everytime we saw lightening I would wait a minute and then say, "Ka-Boom!" And then the girls would both yell, "KA-BOOM!" and start giggling. It was a lot of fun! Have I told you how much fun I am having with them here with me during the day? Ooodles! We play princess, color, take walks, watch Miss Spider, and then there are those wonderful 2 hour naps! And the girls sleep too!

The only thing that would be better would be if all of my girls could be home with me. But they have to go to school. That is why I am getting so excited for the time when I get to bring Katy home to Homeschool her! You see right now she and the other girls go to our nearby elementary school Arbor Creek. It is awesome! Great teachers, great staff, totally rockin Principal! BUT...the school district recently voted to send the 6th graders to the Middle School. This is the last year the elementary will have 6th Grade and then they will ship them off to be with the older kids! NOT my girls! I don't want anything to do with that!

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that the Middle School, which I can see from my backyard is not a good school. I am sure the teachers and staff are really top quality there too. But have you ever been to a middle school? Have you walked around and watched the kids during passing periods? Have you seen the sexual stuff and the smoking and the total disregard for any dignity that some of these girls (mostly the girls!) have for themselves? The teachers are told to treat these children like little adults, the kids are pretty much left to fend for themselves AND they are learning how to be adults from one another!! Yes, that is exactly what I said...tweens are looking at other tweens as their mature role models and so that is why they act like they do!

Well folks...not in my world! My daughters will learn to be young ladies and guess who is going to teach them how? That is right...I know I am an out of the box thinker on this one...but I would kind of like their adult role model to be ME!

So Katy is in 4th Grade this year and so next year will be her last year in the elementary school. Then I will keep her home for 6th-8th. I am not sure what we will do for High School, I haven't reached a decision on that yet. I am not opposed to sending her to the public high school, but I will definitely think through my options. There is an awesome Girls Catholic school just across the stateline in Missouri that I love! But it would be a bit of a drive, about 35 minutes each way.

I have been planning this for about 2 years, so I have read lots of books on the subject. I am planning on attending a Homeschool Conference in the Spring to get more information on curriculums. And I have a lot of friends who homeschool, so I won't be drifting out there all alone.

Katy really wants to be homeschooled, she actually wants me to do it now, in the 4th grade, but I am not ready yet and I know she is fine at the public school for now. Not that I wouldn't love to have her home with me now. We could have such a great time. Also, when she is homeschooled, she will have more time for Dance and Singing and even to try out Modeling which she really wants to try. She just turned 10 and she is 5 feet 1 inch already! I am 5'2", so she is about to pass me up! She was only 5' at the end of July and she gained that extra inch by the beginning of September. I am betting she makes it to 6 feet by the time she starts high school! She is really beautiful. Gosh I would have loved to be tall! Oh well, have to be content with that one...in fact I think I may be shrinking as I write this!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Baby Gone...

Oh we are so sad here, that cute little baby is gone now. She was moved to her Grandmothers home...cuz she did such a great job with her crackhead daughter...let's give her a second chance with her medically fragile granddaughter! Can you spell B-I-T-T-E-R?! No not really, I am just sad for that baby, her life will be so limited.

The girls are taking it pretty well, I try to spin it for them with a really happy twist. I never let them see me cry or seem sad. They don't really need to be concerned and they have to learn that this too is part of life. People come and go in your life, even when you don't want them to. We try to look at it as a way to make a heartprint on another person. Sometimes our heartprint will be remembered, and sometimes, as with little babies, they won't remember us, but they will still be touched and so will we.

Last week Mackenzie was in a little local pageant called the Olathe Sweet Six. It is for 6 year old girls and is tied with our big celebration called Old Settlers which celebrates our cities pioneer roots and the people that originally settled our town. Olathe is over 150 years old and 3 of the Trails to the West the Oregon, the Californian and one more whose name escapes me, went through Olathe. There are several homesteads that are maintained and families and schoolchildren can visit them and see what it was like to live in the 1800's. My girls and I love the pioneer stories and old memorabilia. So we love to visit the homesteads and go to Old Settlers.

Anyhow, Mackenzie did not win, the girls wear their Sunday best and line up on stage and answer a few questions. Then they pick the one girl to be Miss Sweet Six and 2 Runners Up. Those 3 girls get to ride in a convertible car in the parade on Saturday morning! This is what Mackenzie imagined herself doing...and her hopes were dashed when she did not win. It was a little wierd as far as I am concerned. The point of the questions was to get to know the personality of the girls. There were 3 lady judges and they held the microphones and asked a couple of questions of certain girls. The problem was the Judge would look at the girl who walked up to her, and then think up a question, which were mostly yes or no questions!! And then the Judge would hold the microphone up to the girl so she could answer the question and immediately pull the microphone away, not allowing the girl to elaborate or really say much at all. The judges did a lot of talking! Towards the end one of the judges asked a girl a question that no one else was asked in the whole competition, and she just happened to allow her to keep talking. This little girl was the ONLY one to get a chance to elaborate, so she won! It was really wierd. They did give each girl a little prize bag with lots of candy in it. Anyhow, I don't really like pageants, Mackenzie brought the entry home from school and she really wanted to be in it. But we won't be doing that again.

Madyson said she wants to do it next year too...Mackenzie was incredulous..."If I can't win it you definitely won't because you are too shy!", she declared. But Madyson wasn't put off, "I don't want to win...I just want the candy!"

I am spending my days with the little girls now. Madyson was transferred into full day Kindergarten, she wanted it. I had visions of spending our day together and doing fun things like reading and learning and going for walks. She told me she was bored and didn't want to stay with me, she wanted to go to school with her sisters! So I called and they put her in full day, no problem. So I decided to take the little girls out of daycare for a little while. This is my really slow time, and I can still sit at my computer and get some work done if I have to. Mostly I work at night anyhow, so it just makes sense to save the $300 a WEEK!! Ouch! So far they are really having fun. Angie and Ava play really well together. And they both take 2 hour naps, so I still get some time to work or clean or take a nap also!

Well it's snack time, I think I'll go get that ready and then take the girls for a little walk before lunch.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Reading between the lines

Okay, so I should have known that a six week old infant that sleeps through the night is not really a good thing! I mean, how can she do that right? Well, yesterday her caseworker came over with the "red book", that is the notebook that has all of her information in it. It also has copies of court documents, health history taken from Mom, and other pertinent things. You get used to reading these things after a while, and you know just where to look first for the most important things.

So after she left, and after I had raved to her about my little punkin sleeping through the night and wasn't I so lucky! I sat down to read through the red book and found out she was a preemie! She was born 1 month early at 36 weeks, so technically she is only 2 weeks old, which accounts for why she is so tiny. (I don't know her exact weight, but she is swimming in the newborn size sleepers!) I would guess she weighs in the 5 lb region.

As for being a good sleeper, I believe she is a little malnourished which is another reason that she is so small, eats 6 ounces when I feed her and is so lethargic! OMG!

So last night I put her on a schedule and woke her up every 3 hours for a 4 ounce feeding. She is much happier and alert this morning. She stayed awake after her 5 am feeding and smiled at me! Oh I am being sucked into her sweet little heart!

Ava Marie loves on her. I showed her how she can stroke the back of the babies head and kiss it and she just gets such a kick out of touching her hair. This morning I brought Ava and Angie down to breakfast and they both got so excited when they saw the baby is still here! I guess they are not too sure she is staying with us, but I hope she is!!

Katy gets to hold her the most out of all of my girls. She is so helpful. But Mackenzie informed me last night that she NEEDED to hold the baby or else she would never learn to be a good mother! I told her she has plenty of time and can also practice on her baby dolls, she did not like that suggestion and told me that she plans on having a baby really soon. She also told me that the youngest person to ever have a baby was 5 years old...I have no idea where she ever came up with that, but she was adamant that it was true and I told her I didn't know any married 5 year olds and she'd better get that thought out of her head right away! Boy, I just don't know where she comes up with these things!

I have a pretty slow day, I am trying to clear out more of the summer clothes and bring in long pants to be worn with short sleeved shirts for the fall. Our mornings have been cool, in the 50's and then the afternoons are in the high 70's to low 80's. Sweater weather! And I am also gathering more crock pot recipes. I need to start using it for as many dinners as possible again. It just makes sense for us.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A new baby!

Yes, I got the call yesterday! It was so exciting! A little six week old girl. She is beautiful, really tiny, she barely fills a size Newborn. They called me at 12:45 in the afternoon, wanted to know if I was interested and I said...."Of course!!" The gal in admissions said they had court at 1:30pm and would call me as soon as they got out. They called back at 3pm and said that the SRS worker would deliver her to my home within the hour.

While I was waiting for them to call me back after court, I went to the basement to pull out some newborn and 0-3 months stuff. I keep all the clothes, shoes and accessories that my girls go through in the basement in bins that are marked with the size and season. As you can imagine, I have rows upon rows of these! I also have bins for dance shoes and clothes and for sports shoes and uniforms.

Unfortunately I had just pulled most of these same sizes for my friend Lorraine who just got a new placement 2 weeks ago. Uh, Lorraine...I'm gonna need some of those cute little clothes back...sorry.

I put the clothes in a drawer in my room since she will sleep in there for a little while. Then I brought the infant car seat/carrier up and washed the cover for that. I left the carseat in the living room right in the middle, so when the girls came home from school, I just waited for them to notice it. Katy was the first, she said, "Hey Mom, why is the baby carseat in the living room?" And I said, "Oh, is it? Ummmm, why would I have put that there?" And then she and Mackenzie squealed at the same time, "Oh they called us! We're getting a baby!" It is nice to know that my children feel the same way I do. It is such a thrill to get that call.

The SRS worker brought her and all of her stuff (blankets, clothing, diapers and formula.) somone was taking care of this child, she was very clean and peaceful. The girls and I fawned over her and the worker left pretty quickly.

We still had to go to Katy's dance lesson and Mackenzie Acting class, so I just put everyone in the van and we left. The baby basically slept through all of our errands. I took her out of the carseat while we were waiting at Mackenzie's class, but she only ate a little, and then she slept.

Since Katy has 2 dance classes on Tuesday night, I try to have a crockpot dinner or just pick up something quick. I hadn't made a plan for this night, so we got Chick-fil-a. I fed the baby a bottle while all of the girls ate. She is a great eater, about 5 ounces.

I put Angie and Ava to bed around 8pm. Then I read the bigger girls a couple of stories and had them in bed by 8:45pm. I made another bottle for the baby at 10:30pm and then took her up to my room. I figured she would wake up around 1 or 2 am for her next feeding. At 1am I decided to close my eyes for a few minutes and wait for her to cry. And you know what? She never woke up! I had set my alarm for 6am, and at 5am I got up to use the restroom and looked at the time. OMG! I was so worried that she wasn't breathing or something! Of course she was fine, but I have never had a six week old that slept through the night!! I am so lucky!! I can't believe it!

Now I don't know if we can expect a repeat performance tonight, but I am praying for it! As always, I have no idea how long we'll have her, I don't know enough about her case to even guess. But we will sure enjoy her while she is here!